Steuber's 2008 NFL Mock Draft

WR DeSean Jackson (J. Ferrey/Getty Images)

With some juniors entering the NFL Draft picture, Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber has updated his 2008 NFL Mock Draft. Find out where he thinks this year's top collegiate talent will land during the first round.

Previous Mock Draft Updates:

November 2nd
November 15th
November 29th
December 13th
January 4th

The biggest offseason spectacle, the NFL Draft, is still a long way away, but it's always fun to look ahead and try to predict the future. The 2008 draft class has the potential to be one of the better classes in some time, but a lot depends on the underclassmen that decide to forego their final year of eligibility.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare is on January 15th. Currently, only a handful of players have declared. But as the deadline draws near, more and more prospects will decide their football future.

With that being said, let’s have some fun as I try to predict the future in my fifth installment. If you have any questions about my mock draft, feel free to email me.


Pick

Team

Pos.

Player

College

Class

Ht.

Wt.

1

(1 - 15)

RB

Darren McFadden

Arkansas

Jr.

6-2

205

The Dolphins are starting over as a franchise. They hired Bill Parcells to rebuild this once proud franchise. Parcells fired Randy Mueller as general manager and hired Jeff Ireland from the Cowboys to replace him. He also fired Cam Cameron, after one year as the head coach of the Dolphins and now must find a replacement. With Ronnie Brown's knee injury and a lack of offensive production, adding an explosive weapon on offense is a must. Arkansas' Darren McFadden, along with Brown, gives the Dolphins a dynamic one-two punch.

2

(3 - 13)

DT

Glenn Dorsey

LSU

Sr.

6-2

300

Surprised that Miami decided to select McFadden over Glenn Dorsey, the Rams don't hesitate to draft the former LSU star. Dorsey, along with last year's first round selection Adam Carriker, gives St. Louis an up-and-coming D-Line.

3

(4 - 12)

QB

Brian Brohm

Louisville

Sr.

6-4

225

The Falcons are heading in a new direction. They're searching for an identity, and that will all start with the hiring of a new head coach. When Falcons owner Arthur Blank names a new head coach, the coach will want to personally select his own field general. Even though Bobby Petrino left Atlanta, the next QB of the Falcons should be Louisville's Brian Brohm.

4

(4 - 12)

DE

Chris Long

Virginia

Sr.

6-5

285

The Raiders could use some offensive firepower for their new franchise quarterback JaMarcus Russell, but with no wide receivers worthy of a top-ten selection, they'll look to upgrade their defensive line. Oakland is familiar with the Long family, and adding the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long gives the Raiders a premier all around defender upfront.

5

(4 - 12)

OT

Jake Long

Michigan

Sr.

6-7

320

The Chiefs are faced with an ideal situation – having the best offensive tackle in the draft fall into their lap, Michigan's Jake Long. Kansas City struggled throwing the ball this season and with Brodie Croyle starting next season as the Chiefs full time starter, he's going to need all the protection he can get.

6

(4 - 12)

MLB

James Laurinaitis

Ohio State

Jr.

6-3

240

The Jets would like to get their hands on Chris Long, but with him being selected two picks prior, New York will settle for the next best defender. Ohio State's James Laurinaitis fits well into the Jets defensive scheme and will give them the makings of a solid, young linebacking core.

7


from 49ers
(5 - 11)

CB

Malcolm Jenkins

Ohio State

Jr.

6-1

208

It's amazing that the Patriots are drafting this high, but when things are good they seem to always get better. The Patriots don't have many flaws, but they could use some depth and youth on defense. The linebackers need an infusion of youth, but with Laurinaitis off the board, they'll address another area. With Asante Samuel's future uncertain, drafting the next best Buckeye, CB Malcolm Jenkins, gives the Pats a quality cover corner.

8

(5 - 11)

QB

Matt Ryan

Boston College

Sr.

6-5

220

The Ravens have had a disappointing season, and a lot of their problems stem from the instability of the quarterback situation. Steve McNair is past his prime, and Kyle Boller hasn't worked out since being a first round pick in 2003. The Ravens drafted Troy Smith last year, and he played well towards the end of the season. But adding a QB with leadership qualities is a must, and BC's Matt Ryan is a welcomed addition.

9

(7 - 9)

DT

Sedrick Ellis

USC

Sr.

6-1

285

The Bengals desperately need help on defense. The secondary is young and promising, but the front seven needs some work. Luckily for the Bengals, USC's Sedrick Ellis is still available and he'll boost the production of the defense.

10

(7 - 9)

DE

Vernon Gholston

Ohio State

Jr.

6-4

264

It's obvious that the Saints need help in the secondary, but with Malcolm Jenkins off the board, selecting a CB at this position is a bit of a reach. Inconsistent play on the defensive line and the lack of sack production out of Charles Grant (2.5 sacks) justifies the needed for added depth. A versatile defender who can play outside linebacker or defensive end, Vernon Gholston becomes the third Buckeye selected in the top-ten.

11

(7 - 9)

WR

Malcolm Kelly

Oklahoma

Jr.

6-4

219

Outside of Lee Evans, the Bills don't have a big play threat at the receiver position. Buffalo finished the season with the third worst passing offense in the league. The Bills have a young starting quarterback in Trent Edwards, and supplying him with a player of Malcolm Kelly's abilities will help the Buffalo offense.

12

(7 - 9)

OT

Ryan Clady

Boise State

Jr.

6-6

317

Any time a team is grooming a young quarterback, it's important to give him the best possible protection to be successful. The Broncos have done a good job with Jay Cutler, but giving him a quality tackle to grow with makes sense. Ryan Clady, a junior from the Boise State Broncos, is a solid pick if he enters the draft.

13

(7 - 9)

QB

Andre Woodson

Kentucky

Sr.

6-5

230

The Panthers have had a merry-go-round all season long at quarterback. They brought in David Carr to hopefully resurrect his career, but that experiment didn't work. When Jake Delhomme returns next season, he'll most likely be the starter, but drafting Andre Woodson gives Panthers fans a future to look forward to.

14

(7 - 9)

FS

Kenny Phillips

Miami

Jr.

6-2

210

With the top three quarterbacks off the board, the Bears have a few different areas they can address. They can upgrade their offensive line, but selecting an OT this high is a stretch. With the running back situation regarding Cedric Benson a concern, drafting a RB is a possibility. But with Miami's versatile defensive back Kenny Phillips available, he's the best player available that can help the Bears immediately.

15

(7 - 9)

CB

Mike Jenkins

South Florida

Sr.

6-0

197

The Lions are another team that has struggled in the secondary this season. They finished 31st in the league in passing yards allowed (258 YPG) and need a playmaker that can challenge the opposition. USF's Mike Jenkins blankets receivers and has playmaking ability.

16

(8 - 8)

DE

Calais Campbell

Miami

Jr.

6-8

285

The Cardinals have a young, aggressive defense with a bright future, but adding a pass rusher to the mix will make their defense much better. Miami's Calais Campbell is an intimidating defender and a sack artist that's still developing.

17

(8 - 8)

WR

DeSean Jackson

California

Jr.

6-0

172

The Vikings have shown a lot of improvement over the last month thanks to their rushing attack that finished No. 1 in the NFL, averaging 165 YPG. But it's the 28th ranked passing attack that has to improve. Tarvaris Jackson has played better, but still has a way to go. The Vikings may trade or sign a veteran QB, but they have to supply their offense with playmakers. Cal's DeSean Jackson offers a big play threat, as well as a dynamic return man on special teams.

18

(8 - 8)

RB

Rashard Mendenhall

Illinois

Jr.

5-11

224

The Texans were one of twelve teams that finished the season averaging less than 100-yards a game, and for Houston to compete in their division, they have to have an effective rushing attack. Illinois star Rashard Mendenhall has the elusiveness and strength the Texans offense needs.

19

(8 - 8)

CB

Aqib Talib

Kansas

Jr.

6-2

205

Everybody in Philadelphia wants to see the Eagles get an elite wide receiver. The Eagles don't need a No. 1 receiver, they need a top-flight tight end. Unfortunately this draft doesn't feature a first round worthy tight end, so they will look to add depth to their secondary The Eagles finished the season with just 11 interceptions; the worst output in the NFL. Kansas' Aqib Talib is a big, versatile CB that gives the Eagles a ballhawk with great upside.

20

(9 - 7)

OLB

Keith Rivers

USC

Sr.

6-3

235

The Bucs are a team with a great mix of young players and veterans that have achieved a playoff berth. But the Bucs have to add youth and depth where those veterans are positioned. Tampa could look to add a cornerback or add depth on the O-Line, but with USC's Keith Rivers available and Derrick Brooks turning 35 next season, the future is now.

21

(9 - 7)

DE

Derrick Harvey

Florida

Jr.

6-4

262

The Redskins got a great year out of DE Andre Carter this season and could use some help on the interior of the line. UNC's Kentwan Balmer is a possibility, but with Florida's Derrick Harvey available, the Redskins add another pass rusher to their D-Line.

22

(10 - 6)

RB

Jonathan Stewart

Oregon

Jr.

5-11

230

The Seahawks drafted Shaun Alexander in 2000, as Ricky Watters' eventual replacement. With Alexander now 30 years old and a bit slower, it may be time to think about his successor. Oregon's Jonathan Stewart is the perfect protégé for Alexander.

23


from Browns (10 - 6)

CB

Antoine Cason

Arizona

Sr.

6-0

185

The Cowboys have a secondary full of DB's that can't cover. Terence Newman has talent, but is inconsistent. Anthony Henry is better served as a safety. And Roy Williams and Ken Hamlin couldn't cover a high school receiver. Drafting Arizona's Antoine Cason, a legitimate cover corner, gives the Cowboys a potential lockdown CB.

24

(10 - 6)

OT

Jeff Otah

Pittsburgh

Sr.

6-6

340

The Steelers are solid all around, but giving Ben Roethlisberger more protection up front is key to their success. Adding a player they're familiar with in Jeff Otah, who played at Pitt, gives the Steelers much needed depth and versatility.

25

(10 - 6)

WR

Limas Sweed

Texas

Sr.

6-5

219

The Titans have to give Vince Young a reliable receiver that he can grow with. Drafting Texas' Limas Sweed, a former teammate of Young's, provides familiarity and a big, reliable target the Titans offense needs.

26

(10 - 6)

OLB

Dan Connor

Penn State

Sr.

6-3

233

The Giants defense is playing very well this season, but there are some areas that they need to address for the future. The biggest concern is at linebacker. Penn State's Dan Connor is an excellent choice at this pick.

27

(11 - 5)

OLB

Ali Highsmith

LSU

Sr.

6-1

223

The Chargers would love to get their hands on USC's Rey Maualuga, but he previously stated that he's returning to USC for his senior season. After a strong Rose Bowl performance he may reconsider, but until then they'll settle for LSU's Ali Highsmith.

28

(11 - 5)

WR

Early Doucet

LSU

Sr.

6-1

210

The Jaguars have seen former first round picks Reggie Williams and Matt Jones show improvement this season, but with Ernest Wilford a free agent next year, adding another receiver isn't a bad idea. LSU's Early Doucet gives QB David Garrard a reliable receiver in the slot.

29

(13 - 3)

RB

Felix Jones

Arkansas

Jr.

6-0

200

The Packers have to be happy with the emergence of Ryan Grant, but you have to question if his success is for real or a one-year deal. Last year's second round pick Brandon Jackson has been a disappointment, so adding a player of Felix Jones' ability provides insurance for Green Bay.

30


from Colts
(13 - 3)

WR

James Hardy

Indiana

Jr.

6-7

220

The Niners need serious help. Their offense is horrendous. Their defense is disappointing. And it looks like there's no hope. The one thing San Francisco can do is give Alex Smith a deep threat who can make plays down field. Indiana's James Hardy is a monstrous receiver with a huge upside that is a mismatch to any secondary.

31

(13 - 3)

OT

Sam Baker

USC

Sr.

6-5

305

The Cowboys addressed their secondary with their first selection and now it's time to give Tony Romo some more protection up front. Surprised that Sam Baker is still available, the Cowboys draft the USC All-American.

32

PATRIOTS SELECTION FORFEITED - (16 - 0)



A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.

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